Saturday, September 06, 2008
Yesterday I had to take Spouse for an endoscopy at 9:45. He's trying to find out what's causing his 'noisy stomach'.
The endoscopy place is only about 2 miles from our house, and since they said the procedure takes about 10 minutes, followed by 20-30 minutes recovery, I figured we'd be back home in about an hour. No problem, I'd just use my lunch break to shuttle him, and not bother using any leave.
Well... we arrived just before 9:45 and Spouse was given the cursory paperwork to fill out, which probably took 5 minutes max. And then we sat and waited.
Finally at 11:00 they called his name and he left the waiting area, which by the way had no music and no TV. It was just silence, occasionally punctuated by the calling of a patient's name.
So I was a bit ticked off that his 9:45 appointment resulted in us sitting in the waiting room for 75 minutes until 11:00, but I figured that since he was finally back there now, we'd likely be ready to go home in about a half hour. Had I known this would not be the case, I would have dropped him off and gone back to work until the office called and said he was ready to be picked up.
But I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
After flipping through Newsweek and various fashion magazines from 2005 and 2006 for about 40 minutes after Spouse had gone into the back, a nurse finally came to the waiting room at 11:40 and made an announcement.
"I'm sorry to say that we are running behind today, probably about 1 1/2 hours behind. There's no equipment malfunctions or power failures or anything like that to blame it on. Its just one of those days when it seems every procedure takes longer than expected. If anyone would like to leave and come back in an hour and a 1/2 or so, please check in with the office manager before you leave. Again, I'm sorry for the delay."
Great. This is the kind of thing that really ticks me off. If a patient or a client were to be 15 minutes late to a doctor's appointment or hair salon appointment, the office manager would give them all kinds of attitude and say something snarky like "Let me see if we can still fit you in or not", leaving you wondering if you'll have to reschedule for yet another inconvenient date. But they appear to have no qualms what-so-ever allowing patients and clients to wait on them for extended periods of time.
By this time, I'd already been away from work for 2 hours, but I felt I couldn't leave because I knew Spouse had already been called to the back. I figured he was probably in 'recovery' at the moment, and that we'd be going home soon.
But again, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
Again I sat in the waiting room with no music, no TV, and 3 year old fashion magazines. Do you know how ironic it is to be looking through the Aug 2005 issue of InStyle magazine with the feature article "What's Hot and What's Not Today?"
12:00 came and went.
12:30 came and went.
Finally at 12:45 - 3 hours after arriving - they called me back to the recovery area where Spouse was, still in his hospital gown, and still connected to all kinds of machinery. The doctor came over a few minutes later and said he didn't see anything bad, but did take a small sample of a small area of redness for a biopsy, which he explained was just his protocol. Then the nurse gave us the post-procedure care instructions and told Spouse he could get dressed.
At 1:05 we walked out of the office. Mind you, endoscopy patients can't eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the procedure. Spouse's last food and drink were around 7pm the night before, and now it was 1:05 in the afternoon.
I was nervous that my unexplained absence from work might have been noticed, even though the morning had started off slowly. Sure enough, I returned to a voice mail and urgent email from a colleague, so I had to explain that I'd been detained unexpectedly at the doctor's visit. It wasn't a big deal in the end, but it could have been.
Having good insurance is a mixed bag. Yeah, they pay for most everything, but that makes you feel like you can/should go to the doctors whenever you feel something isn't right so that you can get the benefit of having such good insurance!
I guess I should stop whining and be happy that Spouse was only going for a 'noisy stomach'. We are both fortunate to be in extremely good health.
Crush du Jour: Josh Duhamel